Locke - Locke Monday 6:14 PM What is Locke's attack on...

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Locke Monday, April 30, 2007 6:14 PM What is Locke's attack on innatism? Locke dedicated the first book of his Essay Concerning Human Understanding to a refutation of Descartes' innatism. If we had innate ideas, says Locke, we would be conscious of having them. But it is an undeniable fact that children, savages, the unlearned, are not conscious of having innate ideas; they acquire knowledge during the course of a lifetime. It is impossible that anyone should have knowledge of something of which he is not conscious. Furthermore, experience teaches that certain moral principles and the notion of God, far from being innate, vary with different people and at different times. Hence there exists no innate idea; our intellect, at the first moment of its being, is a tabula rasa , a clean sheet of paper on which nothing has yet been written. All impressions we later find thereon (which for Locke are ideas) come from experience. Locke's ideas are not to be confused with Aristotelian ideas , but are to be taken in the sense of representations, or better, of presentations. Locke explains that experience is twofold: external and internal.
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Locke - Locke Monday 6:14 PM What is Locke's attack on...

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